|In 1804, Benjamin Morgan purchased land in Plaquemines Parish, near Braithwaite, and
started growing sugarcane and orange trees. Mr. Morgan had migrated from Philadelphia
and, later, when his son, Thomas, decided to build a home, he chose prominent Philadelphia
architect, William L. Johnston, to design the house. Construction was completed in the
The Orange Grove Plantation house was notable because it was the only Gothic Revival
mansion built in antebellum Louisiana. It, also, had elements of English Tudor, causing it to
be described as "a proper English manor house that looked as if it had been set down on
the Louisiana landscape by mistake."
The house was unusual on the inside, as well as the outside. It featured unique plumbing
and heating systems and was said to be one of the most technologically advanced buildings
of the time.
The Morgan family sold the plantation in 1876, but I understand that it was abandoned in
the 1880's. The land was eventually purchased by Southern Railway in the 1950's, but
apparently no work was done on the house to restore it or even keep it standing. The
condition of the home was allowed to slowly deteriorate and, ultimately, in the 1980's, the
house was destroyed by a fire set by vandals. A sad ending for a unique and historic home.
|Orange Grove Plantation
Plaquemines Parish, LA
Wikimedia.Commons & Rmistrot#1, Rmistrot#2, Rmistrot#3;
The link to this page is:
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Whispers - Home
|Architect's drawing from original blueprint, ca. 1847;
photo at top of page was taken in 1889.
|The photos below aren't dated, but I've tried to place them in chronological
order, earliest first, based on the condition of the house.
|Interior shot of the front hallway
|Nature had started to reclaim it before it met its end.